Pakistani exporters have scored another landmark decision of the European Union (EU) accepting their plea against Indian traders who had been trying to attain exclusive rights to export basmati rice.
The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) had previously filed a petition against the aforementioned Indian claim on 5 February this year under the pretext of meeting the global demand for basmati rice. Although Pakistan meets the second biggest requirement of aromatic rice, the EU Commission presiding over the case did not consent to grant India all the rights for a product that has been disputed for decades.
Pakistan has continued to thwart India’s bid to get a geographical indicator (GI) tag for the region’s basmati rice since last year, and rightly so.
Last year, India had applied for the GI tag for basmati rice with the European Parliament and Council on Quality Schemes for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs. Taking notice, the Intellectual Property Organization Pakistan appealed against the move.
In this regard, it was mentioned that
With the admissibility of REAP as a party, the case of Pakistan in EU has reached its third stage where all the contesting parties will engage in consultations with each other.
The exporters’ group added that the “Time period for the parties to engage in negotiations is three months. The negotiations will last, tentatively, till May 6. This is a pre-trial phase, whereby, parties are encouraged to reach an amicable solution”.
In case of a consolidatory impasse, a fourth and final session will be held in the presence of the Directorate General Agriculture of the European Commission.
Note that Pakistan has only recently registered its basmati rice as GI under the Geographical Indications Act 2020.